View Full Version : mold question
12-29-2008, 09:43 AM
I am just getting started with molding bullets. I plan to mold bullets using wheel weights. I have a smelting pot made from a piece of 12" pipe that I welded a bottom on, which I will fire with a turkey fryer. I also have a small cast iron pot, a ladle and a coleman camp stove that I will use for molding bullets.
I plan to make bullets for 45LC, 38sp, 44mag, 500S&W and 45-70. What type of molds should I buy for a beginner. These are all for newer model guns. Do I need to purchase a bullet sizer or not? I plan to make my own lube. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I would like to stay with one manufacturer to keep things organized. I would like to keep things as cheap as possible but I want something that will last.
My only comment would be that your 12 " welded pipe over a turkey fryer won't have much application for casting, would be fine for smelting raw WW's down and pouring your alloy into ingots.
The excess heat generated by the Turkey fryer is going to make reaching for the ladle each time you cast a new bullet , pretty unpleasant.
You can buy a Lee 20 pound , 120 volt , casting pot for around $50 from MidSouth.
I'd head in that direction if it were me and I was just starting. The pennies you pay for electrical current vs. the high cost of propane for a heat source may be a consideration for you also if you're on a budget.
Welcome to the forum,
I agree with Ben, get the Lee pot. It was the first pot I purchased and still my go to pot for bottom pour casting. I recommend the 4-20 pot since that is what I have. Visit Lee's site (banner link on top of page) and search their moulds for the calibers you shoot. If you want to get in to this the inexpensive way I would choose from their tumble lube moulds the lube them with "Liquid Alox" (also a lee product). Their items are inexpensive but not considered "cheap" products. There are many on this board who got their start with Lee products and many who still use them. In this day and time of spending money wisely, Lee products are a way to start. If you find you do not like casting, your loss is minimal compared to other products.
As far as making your own boolit lube, search the forums here and you will find many recipe's. Blammer and I think Randyrat offer beeswax for sale. Some have found good luck using Johnsons Paste Wax for boolit lube. Bullshop & Lars45 (links at bottom of page) also offers some products and both are jam up guys to do business with.
I would also visit the swapping & selling section of our board. You may find some items there.
12-29-2008, 01:40 PM
I have a small pot as well that I will use on a camp stove for molding bullets. I am just using the big pot for ingots. I am really wanting to know what type of bullet molds are the best for the money. cheap long lasting
Cheap and long lasting are words in the bullet mold business that are hard to fit together. The best ( longest lasting molds ) are also generally speaking the most expensive.
With that said, your best bang for the buck right now would most likely be a $20 , Lee Double Cav.mold or if you can afford $38 or so for a 6 cav. mold from MidSouth , you'd have a much better constructed mold that would last quite a bit longer( of course the $38 for the 6 cav. doesn't include the handles which are around $14 or so.)
I am a tyro, compared to many on this board, but my suggestion for molds leans toward Lee 6-cavity molds. You can turn out good boolits fast with gang molds, and the Lee molds are really inexpensive compared to others. Look at the catalogs, decide what style boolit you wish to shoot, and go from there.
If you are going to be casting, and shooting, LOTS of pistol boolits, I suggest buying a Star lube-sizer. They are available from Magma, that makes them, or you can find one occasionally on eBay. They are also fast, so you can spend more time shooting and less time piddling around in the loading room.
If you aren't going to be shooting hundreds of rounds per month, then maybe you could get Lee push-through sizer systems. I don't use them, but others on this board swear by them. They are inexpensive, and reportdly do a great job. You would use Lee Mule-Snot tumbling lube, or some home-brew lube.
Some folks don't even size their boolits, but that depends on boolit fit to your weapon. They lube them, one way or another, and shoot as cast. May work for you, may not.
My dos centavos...
12-29-2008, 02:33 PM
I agree with Ben. Quality moulds are relatively expensive, but should last a liftime.
On the other hand, I have Lee moulds that are 30 years old and have cast many thousands of boolits. Assuming you started casting at age 20, a 30 year old mould lasted 1/2 a lifetime! I might also add that my Lee 10 pound bottom pour pot is also 30 years old.
Lee moulds require care in handling and use to hold up for that long, but then I don't abuse the other brands I own that cost 4 times as much either.
I always encourage newbies to start cheap, then go for the higher priced equipment after you are sure that casting is your passion.
12-29-2008, 02:40 PM
I would recommend:
500 S&W: the Lee C501-440-RF two cavity. This is easily the most economical mold and the bullet works well and is a good all around for this caliber. You will also need a lube-sizer or else the Lee sizer to apply the gas checks.
45 Colt: Lee 452-255.-RF. I would recommend the six cavity, but if money is really a concern, you could go with the two cavity. This bullet shoots accurate and to point of aim in my uberti schofield. I shoot these by the thousand.
44 Mag: A little expensive is the Lyman 429421 but it is probably the most classic 44 mag bullet ever. Works well without gas checks and it is what I load the most in this caliber. Order form Midsouth for best price. If you want to go cheaper then one of the Lee molds should work. For hunting the Lee C430-310-RF is hard to beat but it is a bit heavy for all around use and also requires a gas check.
38 spl:For plinking, the Lee 358-105-SWC is very popular, shoots well, and is very pleasant to shoot, and is also easy on the lead supply. I also like the Lee 358-158-RF if you want something heavier.
45-70: No experience with this caliber.
To amplify on Happy7, my experience with the 38 Lee 105 grainer was less than good. I have heard, and my experience confirms, the 38 Special likes heavier boolits. I cast up a bunch of 105-grainers, then sold the mold, and use the light boolits for popcorn loads for use at the range - I bring my Combat Masterpiece along when I'm volunteering there, and loan the gun, and popcorn, to guys who brought their 12-yr-old and wanted him to try the 45 Auto, or 357 Maggie, or other loudenboomer. Teaches them to flinch, and I don't mind donating gun use and ammo to keep that from happening. Works for wives & girlfriends, too.
So I recommend a 150-160 grain swc for 38 boolits. More accurate, IME. 2.7 grs BE, or 3 grs 231, and you have a nice plinker.
12-29-2008, 06:03 PM
whichever way you go i would recommend picking a system and sticking with it.
i went the lyman rcbs mold route with a star sizer.
then added a couple of mastercasters for the ease of use and a couple of more starslubers.
rifle stuff i am more picky and for my super mags just as picky.
these are done by hand and some with custom molds.
others get dip lubed and pushed through a fired case neck to clean up the lube then fired without sizing.
but if i was gonna do it again and i was just looking for fodder i would go with lee [can't believe i am saying this] 6 gang molds,and learn how to lee-ment them.
then use lla and jpw lube.
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